Naomi Hill, 40, of Conlie Close, admitted stealing the Oromorph, a highly addictive strong morphine based painkiller, over several months from Lloyds Pharmacy in Alford, where she worked until March 8 when her thefts had been discovered.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said discrepancies about the amount of Oromorph being used at the pharmacy, led to clandestine surveillance of staff by the company’s security personnel.
She said that on each day of the surveillance, Hill was seen to take a bottle of the drug and hide it in her handbag and police were called.
In interview, Hill admitted taking the drugs but claimed it had only been for her own use.
Mitigating, Helen Coney said Hill had worked at the pharmacy for three and a half years as an assistant.
She said she had taken advantage of a ‘lapse in security’ at the shop to take the drugs for her own personal use.
She said Hill started taking it in October last year during a difficult time in her life and when pain relief prescribed by her GP for curvature of the spine and fallen arches, was not strong enough.
Saying that she had ‘breached the high level of trust and responsibility’ she had, the magistrates sentenced Hill to four months imprisonment, but suspended it for a year. She was also ordered to pay £407 in compensation to Lloyds and £85 in court costs.